Its been a funny sort of week, in truth, in more ways than one.
Earlier this week, the orange, bewigged Russian one threw enough of a temper tantrum that he got his way on one issue that has annoyed him. Seems the rule to stop Transgender people from serving in the American Military forces has been finally passed after numerous efforts. Even more amusing of course, in the week it was announced that one of the General’s who helped to fight for the independence of his country (assuming it isnt Russia?) was either a woman, or even more horrible for him, intersex.
The more amusing side of that is that at least 2 states (maybe more?) have already told him that they wont be getting rid of any transgender people already serving in their state military command groups, and will still accept applications from anyone desiring to do so. I’m sure if he hasnt already Tweeted (high security method, not) on the matter, he soon will be.
The other LGBT news I’ve heard today comes care of Australia, Sydney, to be exact
I must admit, there would have been a few cities that if you’d told me would be candidates to do it, Sydney would have been one of them. Thank you for the gesture. Not that I guess I would ever have seen it, even if my body hadnt totally given up on me, thats far too far away, but at least I know its there, which is something. Somehow I cant see the guy mentioned previously will be rushing to use that crossing somehow. I’d love to, but now especially, I think I might have to pass on that.
Why, you ask? Well, a couple of days ago, I had to post a letter to work, re my health issues, and I thought that as the post box was only about 200 yards away, and no one else was readily available to post it, I’d give it a go, and see how it went. Well, going down the hill was ‘interesting’ but I survived, just. Snag is, I then had to come back up the hill, and that was a whole different game! I did make it, but it hurt! I’ve also noticed that the stairs at home, when I’m carrying anything (especially full cups), are distinctly becoming a challenge, coming up. So yes, the old girl is definitely busted, for sure. I suspect unless something dramatic can be done to me, I wont be walking far in future. 😦
Oh, and talking of busts… As some already know, and others will now know, I look like I’ve got a decent cleavage. No, its not some magical hormone, or the fact I have a friendly fairy godmother who provided me with a decent pair of boobs. Believe me, if the latter was the case, I’d have got her to remove something else at the same time! Many women are unfortunate enough to have mastectomies due to breast cancer, a charity whose cause I used to support when I had any money. For those women, prosthetics are provided that give the image that they still have breasts. I’m not the only Transgender women that uses them, I’m sure, but we arent strictly the main market for them. These silicon breasts are fantastic, give a great look, are designed to be about the right weight, and are great, providing you dont put too much weight on them. I dont, I have a foam pair I use at night (vanity, I know), which can take just about anything. Of course, when I was in hospital, the pair I was using were the silicon ones, and they didnt take kindly to being slept in, especially the one on the side I slept on. So yes, its a bit damaged, and I’ve had to buy a new pair which arrived this week. More expense, ah well… Mind, if anyone knows of a similar vagina I could wear 24/7, without toilet issues, please let me know. Hiding ‘that thing’ would be heaven, and far less painful than surgery!
Right, video time. Bit of a clue in the blog title, how original!
I was wondering why Trans Ally was trending on Twitter, on a day when I couldnt logically think of a reason why. So I took a look, and wished I hadnt bothered. Seems the horribly right wing Times managed to post 4 anti Transgender articles in their newspaper today, and the reaction seems to have exploded accordingly. The trend is an eclectic mix between supporters, and those who think we should all be strung up, executed, or both! A few of the more crazy kind have clearly been hunting on Social Media for Trans people, found me, but yes, I’ve removed the abuse promptly. But unfortunately, with the swing to the extreme right that the world seems to be experiencing at present, is it any wonder? Sadly I doubt the anti LGBT hate all too prevalent at present will be going away any time soon!
Actually, that wasnt even what I was planning to write about tonight, it was an article I read yesterday, which I got reminded about, only after the blog had been done for the day.
As the article says, 250 years on from the event, its impossible to know if Pulaski was intersex, female, or actually a man with a weird skeleton. Clearly the latter would seem unlikely, though not impossible, as his body may have got some strange wounds in various battles he took part in. Its also possible that Pulaski was a woman, hid the fact skilfully and rose to the position of General through her skills. Unlikely, I would have thought a physician would have noticed something missing when treating the General after being wounded.
In truth, in the 1770’s, if there was no obvious outward signs that the General had any female traits, then nobody would really have noticed. Medical skills back then were pretty basic, so anything less than basic, probably not expected, or discovered. Its only because by good fortunes, the bones were kept, and recently exhumed to move the statue, that someone decided to do some tests, and… the pelvic area was more that of a woman, than a man.
The thing to point out is that if the General, as seems likely, was intersex, there is very little chance he knew, during his 34 brief years of life. Back then, its fair to say it would have made little difference if he had known! But yes, at a time when LGBTI+ folk tend to feel like Marmite (loved or hated, nothing in between), this is quite a discovery.
Video time. Lets see, a woman who fought like a man? Was she intersex too? We will never know, as all the evidence was burnt, lol! This is a rare song, OMD never actually made a video of this, though of course ‘Maid of Orleans’ was another song about her, for which a video was made. But lets have some Legs & Co, and yes, I love their outfits for this.
Would you believe, with a title like that, that the inspiration is cricket, not politics? Oh, and a bit of LGBT issue too.
Of my 3 main incidents of transphobic personal issues, 2 are related to people of West Indian origin. Thats not to say that all West Indians are transphobic, or that the issue purely relates to them, because neither would be true. Because equally, my biggest wolf whistle also came from someone of the same origin, not that I was ever sure if looked above my boobs, but anyway… Oh, and I know numerous others who have been nice to me too.
Oh right, back to cricket. One of my main issues with cricket over the years, has related to the so called ‘sledging’ that goes on, to the opposition. Personally I dont think its needed, though I remember one hilarious moment on Sky Cricket, where Niall O’Brien was sledging his brother, Kevin, in one of those televised 20 over games.
Anyway, supposedly, yesterday, one of the West Indian bowlers is said to have made a homophobic comment to the England captain, Joe Root. I dont know the actual words used (they werent picked up), but Root’s reply was,
“Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
And Root is right, there isnt. Seemingly the bowler concerned said something apologetic in reply, but it wasnt apologetic to LGBT people, just to Root, judging by later reports. Its all gone over the top, in 2 directions on Twitter, anyway.
Firstly, there are those declaring Root worthy of sainthood for what he did, but in truth, all he did was what you would expect from any decent person. Great for him saying it, but hero worship is taking it a little too far.
The opposite is the homophobics on Twitter, saying that because we dont have the actual words said to Root, it isnt true. But hey, why would Root say what he did, and seemingly the umpires report after play to the match referees, if it wasnt true?
Anyway, regardless, I want to say thank you to a fellow Yorkshire man for standing up for LGBT folk. At the same time, I’m not going to declare endearing love, and hero worship for it, as some have done, seemingly.
But yes, things need (in an ideal world) to change, both in a sledging, and homophobic way. Sadly, I dont expect perfection in my lifetime, but who knows?
OK, video, some very early, very raw punk stuff from the Stranglers. 2 songs for the price of 1 video, lol
And so to the second half of the year.
In truth, personal things prior to September were fairly limited. Mainly because I was at work, through the school holidays, covering for those who need the time off.
One sad thing that did happen before then, happened in August. To many, it probably seems amazing that an adult actress from the early 1930’s had survived this long, but one of them had. But eventually that tie was cut, when Mary Carlisle passed away at the grand old age of 104. She was pretty sharp to the end, if less mobile, and for a while she had been the last, and all knew the link was coming to an end, but for those of us who love that era, it was still a sad moment when it arrived.
September saw me going back to a place I hadnt visited in nearly 40 years, Inverness, taking Eric away with me for a few days of fun. Well, as much fun as two people with disability issues can have, anyway. I managed to fulfil one ambition I’d had for about that long, if not more, by travelling the Skye Line to Kyle of Lochalsh. The fact that the last time I was there, the only way to Skye was by ferry, and now a bridge has been there for decades, all a bit strange. There are still a couple of railway lines in Scotland I’d love to do (Oban line, Fort William to Mallaig), and the Cambrian Coast line in Wales to a place I could never pronounce correctly (Pwllheli) that are a challenge for another day, health permitting. There are also a couple of very long distance ones in North America too, though they may be less likely, and trickier to do.
At one point I thought that November would see me doing a Transgender Awareness Week speech in Florida, but it soon seemed that someone was all talk, and no reality, so it never happened. So instead, I headed somewhere nearly as warm for the week, to the Algarve, to give my back some heat before winter kicked in. I wont deny I might have done a little bit of apartment prospecting while there, should the chance arise, and yes, if things work out, my old age could well be spent out there. There is a financial issue (not enough money), and a political issue (post Brexit residence rules) that may stop that, but fingers crossed… A lottery jackpot win before March 29 might be very handy! But lifestyle, and health wise, I could do a lot worse.
Then we come to the old chestnut, my health issue. In recent weeks my left wrist seems to have developed issues, probably due to too much typing, and stuff, for the last 40 years or so. So now I have 2 issues leaving me wondering how much longer work is going to be possible? More amusingly, due to coming 4th in a year long Golf tipping contest on Twitter, I gained £100 for my pains, and thought I’d give some new therapies a try, rather than frittering it on clothing, and the like. So yes, I got to discover just how amazing a flotation tank (sensory deprivation tank) is, and even better, the weightless floating does seem to do my back a lot of good too. Fine, the tank hasnt tried to brainwash me yet, though I’m still hoping!
Oh, and December saw the Works Christmas dinner, in a new dress, in a casino, and my first ever bet in such a place. Yes, I lost quickly, but it was a free £5 chip, so nothing lost really!
Lastly, and sadly, the Department I work in, in their wisdom, have decided to move our section out of Finance, and into a new Collection based group. So unfortunately, just as our LGBT committee were getting ready to do something really exciting, I’m out, as from tomorrow. I cant see me going quiet on LGBT issues, but it may give me less options now, though I have applied for something for the whole Department, not just Finance, but will be over a month before I hear about that. Ah well…
Right, tomorrow I will close the trilogy, with a look at New Year happenings (and possible happenings) on the first day of 2019. But until then, let me wish all my readers, those who arent there already at least, a Happy New Year in 2019.
OK, video. Just a quickie tonight. Its hard to find anything for Mary Carlisle other than a couple of full films, and sets of pictures. But I found this, Bing Crosby singing to her, 85 years ago!
So, as promised, the review of the year starts here. It will finish tomorrow, and then at the start of the new year, I’ll take a look at what 2019 might hold, some of it very likely, some of it unlikely, but might be fun if it does.
2018 actually saw something happen, that I’d never done in my 44 years of working life, I was told not to go to work! Yes, a combination of the fragility of my back, and some very cold, and icy weather saw me put on ‘winter weather leave’ for a few days. It made sense in so many ways in truth, but was still a bit of a novelty to me. But agreed, if I’d slipped over, landed on my back, and especially my spine, well you wouldnt want to think about the potential outcome, lets face it. Pretty sure its likely to happen early in 2019 too, especially given the deterioration in my wrist too, but we will have to wait and see on that. In truth, after about a week of that, I was getting a bit of ‘jail fever’ but it was a very wise move, so kudos to my employers for letting me do it.
While on about work, I started working on an LGBT committee at work, which was definitely a fun thing to do. Yes, was, more on that over next couple of posts.
Something else that happened early in the year was also work related. One of my colleagues got notice of volunteers needed for the Blackpool Film Festival in March, and the rest, as they say, is history! I wont claim it as strictly the revival of my acting career (its more a natural performance thing, no scripts), but it was a moment that led to the return of my time performing in public.
This year, it was a flying visit, arrived in Blackpool on the Friday afternoon, left again on the Saturday morning, due to fate, and a memorable date. Yes, the night of my flapper revival was my 60th Birthday! The works celebration was done a week earlier (would have been anyway), but the ‘house’ version was delayed until the Saturday night, which was why we needed to get back as we did.
Yes, a decade or so ago, that would have been it, retirement, which in truth, the body probably needs already. Now, officially it will be March 2024, though I have my doubts my body will hold out that long, but we will see? If it does, I might plan to retire (or take holiday) from work a couple of weeks early, because as things stand, the Iditarod race will start from Anchorage on 2nd March (restart at Willow on 3rd), and that would be an amazing thing to do, and a sort of dream come true. Nome as well? Well, maybe, but all that is a long way off. More on my preferred retirement option in part 2 tomorrow night.
May saw my return to Seattle for the first time in a few years. A few firsts there. Another state bagged, as I flew in via Las Vegas, so getting Nevada as my 24th state. Hopefully get 25 ‘somewhere’ next September, maybe? Ask Kate on that one, lol. She knows the one I’d love it to be, but its not renowned as the most friendly LGBT state in the US, so maybe not? There are a couple of New England options for that title too, so we will see.
The other big first on that trip, was my first Mariners game. It was memorable for more reasons than one, good, and bad. Good, they won. Bad, disability related issues. To be fair to the club, I complained, got a free ticket in the disabled area later in the week, and a few souvenirs as well, they handled it all very well.
Lastly, in the first half of the year, was a return to Blackpool, for World Pier Day. Again I have to thank a colleague for covering my Saturday shift to enable me to do this. Went back even further in time, as an Edwardian Lady, though I never got tightly corseted, cant have everything, lol. Amusingly, it was also Blackpool Pride day, and though I heard a lot of that, didnt get to see it at all. 2 trips already planned for Blackpool in New Year, but more on that on Tuesday, one of which you may not want to miss!
Well, the year certainly hasnt been a drag, but when this came up in my You Tube suggestions tonight, I couldnt resist this 1930 offering. And yes, a certain ‘fluffy haired’ blonde definitely looks like it could be Clara Johnson!
I’m not claiming that I thought I knew all of the LGBT+ terms that people use nowadays, but I thought I knew most of them, but showed up my lack of knowledge yesterday.
Had a request by email, and on the work intranet yesterday for people to act as representatives for a Princes Trust panel early next year. Thing is, as they put it, they were after the lesser represented groups to come forward. And yes, seemingly according to this, Intersex, and Non Binary are far too normal, lol. As for Transgender, and Pansexual, and the like, no thanks.
No, the people they were looking for, were from the following groups, and in truth, I had to look these up to know what they were.
So yes, even someone with as much involvement as I have, can learn something new!
In truth, I dont really mind what term any person chooses to select for themselves, its all a personal choice. At the same time, there is a point where you can see why the ghastly ‘rabid right wing Christian nutcases’ might be entitled to shout enough, in their eyes at least?
Oh fine, if someone wants to offer me the chance to be officially designated as a Fembot, I wont say no! 😛 Ooh, zap me baby, lol! Yeah, I wish!
Lastly, my patience finally ran out with First Buses again. 3rd letter of complaint in about 6 months, not that I’ve even had the courtesy of a reply to the previous two, so this time I’ve mentioned passing it on to the controlling board if I dont get a reply.
I wasnt looking forward to a physio appointment at 4.45 tonight, travel wise, and I was proved right. I got back to the bus stop at 5.17, raining, and cold, less than perfect conditions for me. Still, by using all options, I should have had a bus coming along every 5 minutes. I waited 29! After all that, the bus driver had to go ‘somewhere’ when we finally reached town, and that was another 10 minutes delay. Yes, I might have just ‘slightly’ laid on how disabled I am, but by the time I got home, the back felt pretty dreadful, so… and Monday’s journey home was an hour longer than it should have been, and was only that because I got a taxi home from town!
Still wont hold my breath for even the respect of a reply, despite all that, mind, they really are a dreadful company.
Right, video time. Back to the initial subject for this. Some live Blur, though to say Damon Albarn looks less than enthused would be putting it mildly!
Well, actually, I’d like to be really expensive, have some wealthy man, or woman prepared to buy me, and pamper their little queen, but lets face it, thats not likely to happen in the case of a 60 year old Trans woman, is it? Besides which, as a submissive who loved bondage in the past, maybe being free is a bit too boring, lol?
OK, to the serious stuff.
One thing I am looking forward to being free of, very shortly, is the need to take exams. Lets face it, at 60, that should be a thing in my deep, distant past, not even allowing for the fact that less than a decade ago, I’d be retired by now. But no, naughty girl, mustn’t get into UK politics, so… Lets just say that the odds of me reaching my new retirement age, in one piece, given its 66, even money, maybe, at best?
Was actually told at Physio today that much as I suspected, after the flotation tank session, my back is showing signs of improvement. No, I dont know how it works, and at this point at least, its improvement, but we’re starting from such a low point, anything is good, but I’m still not going to be running far, anytime soon! But walking is less of an issue, which is good.
Oh fine, back to Exams. One of the things I had to do for my new job, because I couldnt find exam certificates from 42 years earlier, which would have been 2 names, and 1 gender change ago, I had to take an apprenticeship course. I cant say the people running it (not my department) have made a good job of it, but anyway… In the end, its come down to finishing the last few outstanding exams, and thats it.
Currently, the last set of tests are 3 down out of 5, 1 of which I know I’ve already passed. Results seem to take a long while to come through, anyway. Tomorrow evening is exam number 4! The last exam is probably 2 weeks away, because tomorrow I need to do revision for exam 4, and given that next week involves a lengthy LGBT committee meeting on Tuesday (with travel), the idea of being in a fit, healthy state to take the final exam next Wednesday would be doubtful. Havent even done all the learning for it yet, so pretty certain it will be the 12th December that I get to sit that.
Yes, I sincerely hope that will be the last exam I have to take in my life! I know, I’ll possibly have to retake something, but I hope not! After that I hope the only exam I ever have to take in the future will be related to gender change stuff, and nothing to do with learning facts!
I also wish I could be free from travelling long distances to work by bus, but unless someone can rewire my mind, turning me from the worst driver in the world, to one of the best, at my age, its not going to happen. I know, trains and planes, I’ll travel on them, but they dont have the start/stop, bumps and jerks motions of buses. But practically, to get to work, buses are the only easy way. Well, if a friendly alien is reading this, and wants to provide me with a flying saucer that does Huddersfield to Bradford in a few minutes, send it my way, ideally with driving instructions, or an alien chauffeur!
Fine, ideally, I’d love to be free at my age of the need to work at all, but the powers that be have decided otherwise…
OK, silly rant over.
Video time, some more Toyah. Firstly, the promo video
Secondly, a rather wonderful live version, with a few extra lines thrown in for good measure! This would be my preferred shout, but your call…?
I must admit, when someone suggested using a flotation tank to me, for my damaged back, I couldnt see the logic of how it could bring me long term benefit. Let me just say, 5 days later, I’m convinced.
Even when I walked out on Tuesday, in no pain, I put it down to short term effect, and all that, and nothing more. I then proceeded to have an awful journey home, in cold, wet weather, and still no issues. More of the same on both Wednesday (including a lengthy period of standing still, waiting for a bus, normally a killer), and on Friday, and fine, the worst I’ve had, a bit of minor (and I do mean minor) pain!
I’m not saying I could run a marathon (or even a mile), but its fair to say I currently have more mobility than I’ve had in 15 months! No, I’m still not trying the stairs at work though, or on a bus, lol!
Yes, I’m still taking all my painkillers, and stuff, but I was previously hurting with them, so thats not a major issue. Funnily enough, I’m due at Physiotherapy on Tuesday, and I’m fascinated to see what she thinks of my ‘new’ back! I know I said I was going to do acupuncture anyway, but seriously, I’m thinking of revising that comment, as the flotation tank is cheaper, seeming to work, so why change something that is clearly working? Plus, I get the whole sensory deprivation thing doing this, even more so as I’m getting shown how to put the lid of the pod down next time! Maybe I can come out reborn as twenty something Clara Johnson, lol?
Well, I can answer my own question in truth, I’ve booked 2 more sessions already! I was a bit concerned how to work things, as my next Physio session would be on Christmas Day, so not going to happen. And yes, the following Tuesday is New Years Day, so… it could have been a long wait. But now, not an issue! 😀
Normally I would have booked the first session for next Tuesday (4th December) but I’m in Manchester that day, LGBT committee meeting. In truth, before this, I was a bit concerned about that week, as it would have been 5 days of travel that week, but now…not! So I’ve booked for the 6th, my 1 day of rest, to use as a recovery session. The other booked is on 18th, to hopefully get me through the whole long festive period! Now all I need is someone to create a brainwashing tape, to play into the pod while I’m in there, lol… 😉 OK, thats hoping for a bit too much?
But yes, beyond the lack of pressure on my back while floating, I havent a clue why it works. So yes, you could say its a mystery! Which leads us to the video. Its not often you find someone from the punk era singing live in a studio (music too), but Toyah does here! And yes, its good enough, and different enough to be the pick for tonight!
Oh fine, I lied when I said that the 2 blogs would be the same all week, because they wont be. Mainly because some people reading on the other blog think I’m a natural woman, and for some, after about 18 years, I’d hate to break the news, lol. So we’ll keep this here, and I have an idea for the other place, which I’m sure you wont mind missing. Mind, a lot will know where to find it, anyway!
This week, for those who didnt already know, and I hope most in the LGBT community at least do, is Transgender Awareness Week. I know, preaching to the converted, as lets face it, if you dont like Trans folk, you’re not likely to be reading this!
Anyway, no, I’m not going to preach, so dont worry if you thought this was going to be just that. What I am going to tell you is the amusing story of how I ended up in Portugal during T.A.W (for short) in the first place. Earlier this year, I was talking to someone in the US (if I get too specific, some will know who I mean, so to protect the guilty…) and it was suggested (see, no personal pronoun) that maybe I could go out there, and speak to the Trans community in their state, and try and convince them that things arent as grim as they seem, even with that LGBT hating idiot they have in charge over there. See, not playing to someone’s ego, either, by mentioning his name! Not that I have for a while, but he’s orange, and wears a wig, so… 😉 So, I booked this week off at work a long while back, to cover for this eventuality. As you might have guessed, in the end, it came to nothing. What they have done to mess me around since then, absolutely no comment!
So I had 2 options, I could cancel the week of holiday at work, save it for another time, but then my back came up with this bright idea, how about a week somewhere warm, to ease both my pain, and my back pain. So, to cut a long story short, go on budget holiday website, find what seemed a nice option (and most definitely is), and take the week off, and go elsewhere, in this case, Portugal! All seems fine, right?
Well, the thing is, I did a piece for T.A.W for work, both for our group section, and ultimately, for the whole department as well! A lovely piece, a letter to my younger self, explaining to her whats going to happen in her future life, and all that. Of course, the snag is, normally the writer is around to respond to comments at work, and I’m in Portugal, and no access to our Department Intranet. I suspect from the ways its playing out, they’re probably planning to put it up on Friday, so people will barely realise that the ‘old lady’ isnt there until Monday to reply to comments, shrewd move.
Yes, I will let blog readers see it at some point, though as its currently only on my work computer, it wont be until after I get back, and can send the document home! If I dont, remind me, please! Well, assuming anyone wants to see it, of course?
Irony is, me personally, the last thing I want people to be aware of, is that I’m Trans. Me, I’m just another woman, OK? But yes, if you have any Trans friends in need of extra support, this is a great week to do it, just saying…
Right, this is almost the Beautiful South, doing a Housemartins song, which you might have guessed the title of already?